What is the legality of gambling in South Korea?

Is Gambling Legal in South Korea?

While gambling in South Korea is largely illegal for its citizens, there are a few exceptions. The only legal forms of gambling for South Korean residents include lottery, horse racing, boat racing, and cycling. However, foreigners can enjoy a wider range of gambling options at the nation’s casinos. The South Korean government has implemented strict gambling laws to protect its citizens from gambling addiction and financial harm.

What Are the Laws Governing Sports Betting in South Korea?

In South Korea, sports betting is allowed through a limited number of channels. Sports Toto and Sports Proto are the two legal sports betting organizations in the country, both of which are state-owned. These organizations offer betting on football, baseball, basketball, volleyball, golf, and ssireum (traditional Korean wrestling). Betting through unauthorized channels or illegal bookmakers can lead to severe penalties, including imprisonment and hefty fines.

Is Online Gambling Legal in South Korea?

Online gambling is strictly prohibited for South Korean citizens, and the government actively monitors and blocks access to foreign gambling websites. The government has also implemented strict measures to crack down on online gambling operators targeting South Korean residents. In recent years, South Korea has taken steps to legalize and regulate online gambling for its citizens, but progress has been slow. However, foreigners residing in South Korea can legally access international online gambling sites.

What is the Minimum Age for Legal Gambling in South Korea?

The minimum age for legal gambling in South Korea is 19 years old. This applies to all forms of legal gambling, including lottery, horse racing, boat racing, cycling, and casino gambling for foreigners. It is important to note that underage gambling is a criminal offense in South Korea and can result in severe penalties for both the offender and the gambling operator.

Which Are the Most Famous Casinos and Games in South Korea?

South Korea is home to over 20 casinos, but only one, Kangwon Land Casino, is open to South Korean citizens. The majority of casinos cater exclusively to foreigners, with some of the most famous establishments including Paradise City, Seven Luck Casino, and Paradise Casino Walkerhill. These casinos offer a wide range of games, such as blackjack, roulette, baccarat, poker, slot machines, and more. In addition, traditional Korean games like hwatu (flower cards) and sikitcha (a traditional Korean dice game) can also be found at some casinos.

Do You Need a Gambling License to Operate in South Korea?

Yes, to operate a gambling establishment in South Korea, you must obtain a gambling license from the relevant authorities. This applies to both land-based casinos and other legal gambling facilities like horse racing tracks and sports betting shops. The licensing process is rigorous, and operators must meet strict criteria to be granted a license. It is important to note that operating an unlicensed gambling establishment is a criminal offense and can result in severe penalties.

Are There Any Gambling Taxes in South Korea?

Yes, there are gambling taxes in South Korea. For lottery winnings, a tax of 22% is levied on prizes over 50 million won, and 33% on prizes over 300 million won. Horse racing, boat racing, and cycling winnings are subject to a 22% tax. Casino winnings for foreigners are not taxed, but South Korean citizens who win at Kangwon Land Casino are subject to a 22% tax on winnings over 5 million won.

What Are the Official Links and Resources on Gambling Legality in South Korea?

For official information on gambling legality in South Korea, the following resources are available:

  • Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism – Provides information on gambling laws and regulations.
  • Korea Casino Association – Offers information on licensed casinos and responsible gambling practices.
  • Korea Racing Authority – Governs horse racing and betting in South Korea.
  • Sports Toto – Official website of the state-owned sports betting organization.
  • Sports Proto – Another state-owned sports betting organization (Korean language only).

3 thoughts on “What is the legality of gambling in South Korea?”

  1. I’m so frustrated rn 🤦🏻‍♀️ My cousin just got fined for gambling in South Korea and I’m tryna figure out if that’s even legal or not? Does anyone know the deal? 😕

  2. I’m an expat living in South Korea and I have a question about the legality of gambling. Is gambling legal in South Korea? If so, what types of gambling are allowed? I would really appreciate any help or advice anyone has to offer. Thanks!


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